Life (Basel). 2021 Sep 2;11(9):914. doi: 10.3390/life11090914.
Although cardiac troponins are considered the most specific biomarkers for the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), their diagnostic consideration goes far beyond the detection of this dangerous disease. The mechanisms of cardiac troponin elevation are extremely numerous and not limited to ischemic necrosis of cardiac myocytes. Practitioners should be well aware of the underlying pathological and physiological conditions that can lead to elevated serum levels of cardiac troponins to avoid differential diagnostic errors, which will be greatly increased if clinicians rely on laboratory data alone. This article presents a classification of the main causes of an elevation in cardiac troponins and discusses in detail the mechanisms of such elevation and the diagnostic consideration of cardiac troponins in some conditions not associated with AMI, such as physical exertion, inflammatory heart diseases (myocarditis and endocarditis), pulmonary embolism (PE), renal failure, and systemic inflammation (sepsis).